Tag Archives: Coonoor

SIM’s Park – Coonoor

We decided to drive down to Coonoor and meet my Capri cousin at SIM’s park. We started a bit later than planned but we reached SIM’s park before my cousin didIMG_2573. This gave the Arien an opportunity to start shooting pics. The flowers looked so lovely, bright, and colorful that I could totally understand why I was not getting any response to whatever I was jabbering on about.¬† As I followed him and he followed the camera, or whatever was pulling him via the camera, we noticed a little sparrow that did not seem scared of us. It actually IMG_2579posed for pictures. Only two of them came out well. But, I could almost feel it saying – “Ok, you got some snaps – Now, can I go on with my work? Thank you.”

In all this, we almost missed my cousin and family walk in until they were almost upon us. After a bit of meet and greet and a few snaps of all of us together taken by the two male members via their camera or iphone, we started walking. As we walked, we came across this little boy selling these bubble makers. My niece wanted one. Soon, she was shooting bubbles in the air. Some of them did not come out too well and then my SIL showed her how to do it – it was fun. The Arien captured those moments too.

IMG_2629As we walked along, the Arien managed to take some really good shots of the flowers, of the bee atop a flower, etc. while I used the opportunity to chat with my SIL, my aunt, my niece, and of course, my cousin. After a bit, everyone was a bit tired of the walking, and we decided to move to the next touristy spot at Coonoor which was Dolphin’s Nose.

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Catherine Falls – seen from Dolphin’s Nose

It was crowded and did not feel like there was anything much to do except gawk at the awesome view. Gawk we did ūüôā We also took a few pictures of ourselves and the Catherine Falls as viewed from the Dolphin’s Nose. It was so far away that the snap does not do any justice to the view. The Arien took some amazing shots, yet again. All of us oohed and aaahed over the panorama shot he took of the Dolphin’s Nose.

My cousin was shifting to another hotel in Ooty that day and they were all packed and set. So, we stopped our touristy stuff for the day. After driving to Ooty, and saying Bye to my cousin and family, we drove back to Lovedale where we were put up. We were quite tired and it was good to hit the bed and forget everything. Nice day – not our hectic pace but enjoyable nevertheless.

We have done a number of trips to Ooty and so both of us were ok not to do our hectic touristy stuff and to just relax.

 

Udhagamandalam – Coonoor Passenger

It was nearly time to check out of the resort. As we we stood at the Reception, paying the bill,¬†we asked¬†’bout the Passenger train to Coonoor. We still had not found the Railway station though we had driven around the city a zillion times.¬†The guy at the Reception was pretty friendly and gave us clear directions.¬†After dumping all our luggage in the car, we¬†followed his directions and¬†made it in time only to see hazaar folks standing in a queue waiting to buy tickets for the train ride. Obviously, it was a popular entertainment option. While the Arien stood in the queue, I plonked myself inside the train reserving a place for us.¬† (This is strictly against the rules but we were leaving Ooty today and so the scant disregard for the rules). The Arien came waving the tickets as if he had won the lottery.¬†

Soon we were off.¬† I had somehow romanticised this whole journey so much that I believed¬†this train was like the Palace on Wheels kinda train. Beeg mistake. It was a local train travelling between¬†Ooty and Coonoor. The seats were nothing to talk ’bout –¬†you cud call it a¬†toy train¬†for adults ūüė¶¬† But, the view was fantabulous.¬†People were shooting pictures left, right, and center and the train was¬†chugging along slooowly. The train stopped at¬†a few stations and¬†very few people got¬†on or off. ¬†The train¬†was a major tourist attraction and¬†the locals watched us as if we were crazy¬†kooks.¬†¬†We stopped at Lovedale and then at Keti. Keti was known as the place where Shahrukh shot for the song “Chaiyya Chaiyya” – almost every guide/person at any tourist spot threw this information at you.

In 1 and a half hour, we reached Coonoor. Because our car was parked at the Ooty Rlwy station, we had to get on the¬†same train as soon as it was ready to leave Coonoor. Good plan but a shocker awaited us. First of all, the crowd at Coonoor station had us zapped. And then when the train stopped, all of us were asked to get off by policemen because the folks who purchased tickets at the Coonoor station had¬†the first preference. Both¬†of us were pretty zapped at this. The policeman’s job was to ensure that all of us got off. The Arien disappeared¬†into the ticket counter while I looked around for a chance to reserve (Gasp!) a seat.¬†I joined the folks who were (im)patiently waiting to get on the train (I know – I am totally ashamed :O). The Arien, meanwhile, had given up hope¬†and was walking around searching for me — wen he saw me¬†sitting at a window seat franctically waving to him.¬†His face screamed “how did you get on?” while I¬†tried hard to stop him from asking tht question. By then, almost everyone who had a ticket, was given a seat and so I was feeling a little less guilty. The Arien had to shoot this pic of the policeman staring at the foreigner as she stood with her video camera and took pictures of her companion who was inside the train. I was glad when the train finally left Coonoor station.

The return journey was a tad boring. We had already finished with the Ooohing and Aaahing and so the Arien decided to shoot some nice pictures. He managed to take some very interesting shots and soon we resumed our Ooh(s) and Aah(s). This shot was taken by the Arien without viewing the display.

There were a big group of North Indian folks in our compartment and they chattered nineteen to a dozen and all the kids were so noisy that we were really waiting to get off at Ooty when the train stopped at Wellington. The name seems so out-of-place in our Udhagamandalam that I had to take a shot of the station. As usual, I managed to get a bit of the bar in the pciture and the Arien wanted to delete the pic but I persisted and here goes.

When we finally reached Ooty, I was glad that the car was not broken into. It was a relief. The Arien was very sure something wud have hpnd to the car while we were travelling back and forth to Coonoor. We drove via the market and purchased the famous Ooty carrots, and a whole lot of other vegetables that looked very fresh. I laughingly informed the Arien that this is the first holiday where we have gone grocery shopping but I was silenced by the sheer quantity of stuff tht we were buying. After buying almost 2 bags-ful of veggies, I was very impressed when the shop-keeper whipped out a cloth bag (flourescent green) and packed it all in tht bag. No plastic Рvery very impressive.

Sightseeing – Coonoor

Coonoor

We drove along, looking out for Keti and reached Coonoor rather quickly.¬† This place was supposedly named after the Coon tribe. Coon – oor,¬† is a very quaint place that has this old world charm. We walked into the empty railway station – the last train to Udhagamandalam had left and so there was no one at the station. We wanted to enquire ’bout the train timings but there was no one we could ask. A cleaning lady, seeing our expressions, told us to come tomorrow in the morning so we could buy tickets. We decided not to worry too much ’bout it – but I had kinda made up my mind tht we would travel on this train before we got back to Bengaluru ūüôā

The next step was to check out some places in and arnd Coonoor, first on the list was Sims Park. This was supposed to be a major tourist attraction – it was quite like Ooty’s Botanical garden. We saw many different varieties of trees. It was a looong walk, and the Arien was shooting pictures like crazy. He made our camera perform amazing tricks till I had had enough ūüôā The evening sunlight was beautiful and he wanted to make the best use of the light.

A monkey who was minding his business was soon the focus of the Arien’s camera. As you can see from this picture, the monkey is happily chewing on the leaf and the Arien had to go and disturb it.¬† Either the sound of the click or the flash, disturbed the monkey and it decided to move away. Naturally, the Arien decided on following it, and soon I was following the Arien.¬† Grr… this is so not the relaxed holiday that I had planned.

The Arien continued shooting pictures of various flowers in bloom. I think we have a zillion pics of various nameless flowers. It reminded me a lot of the time he took pictures of fishes in an Aquarium. I recall, I had asked him to shoot those pictures :O I am not too sure why I come up with these ideas. It was when the Arien went after a butterfly that I kinda lost my temper. Naturally, tht does not faze the Arien at all ūüôā His aim was to capture a fantastic shot and he would do it against all odds – including an angry partner.

I was kinda fed up and started walking towards the exit, when the Arien suddenly joined me. He said there was another path which he found, but he was not really interested and so lets get going. It was almost 5:45 and I was sure it would quickly get dark and so we got going.

Just when we were going to go out of the park, we noticed that some gardeners had ensured tht the name of the park was visible without making use of a board. Very innovative — at the same time, quite common in most gardens. Well, I had been worried if this park was indeed the Sims Park for a while and tht board relieved me of tht tension – around the time wen we were leaving.. Hmmm.. We probably took the path tht was less frequented (no pun intended). The next place we were visiting was Lamb’s Rock. I had never heard of this. We were both reminded of the Phantom’s Rock episode in Wayanad.

Because it was likely to grow dark swiftly, I urged the Arien to drop Lamb’s Rock from the plan and head back to Ooty. Of course, he insisted tht we check tht place out on tht day. So, we kept driving and driving and driving –¬† I was not too sure if we we were even travelling in the right direction b’cos we hardly saw any vehicles. At 6:20, I urged the Arien to head back because the route we were on did not seem to go anywhere. It reminded me vaguely of the route to Kanheri Caves. However, there were enough boards to assure every1 tht the caves was a short distance away. There was no such thing here.¬† And then suddenly, we saw the board just ahead of us. By then, we were both a little worried and decided to head back without really visiting the place. Tht was the weirdest visit of ours tht day. We were dead tired by then and I told the Arien tht we shd actually relax now. He agreed. We headed back to the resort for the much-needed relaxation.

Sight-Seeing — Ooty Lake

Ooty Lake

It was 2:30 pm wen we reached the Ooty Lake. The Ooty lake is a man-made lake and was created by John Sullivan, who is considered the founder of Udhagamandalam. I was very sure we were lost but the Arien was sure we were on the right track and he was right. The lake by itself is quite charming but the crowd was simply overwhelming. Maybe because it was the weekend – it was quite noisy, loads of kids, parents, and infants thronged the place.

The place was almost like a picture postcard but the crowd did not let us really enjoy it at all. I was actually ready to leave as soon as we walked in. The Arien wanted to shoot some pictures before we left. I did not feel we could manage any snap without half a dozen folks in the snap but as usual, he did the impossible. You can also see a few folks who are out boating in the afternoon, at a distance. He also took a picture of all the boats from a different angle. It almost looks like the two places are quite far from each other. After we walked out, we saw a big nursery and walked in. We purchased seeds for my MIL who simply adores plants. So far so good. We decided to also check out Coonoor which was not too far.

As we drove away from the Ooty lake, I saw a musuem of wax works and convinced the Arien stop and walk in. He had this “Don’t drag me into this” expression but I did it anyway. We walked around the musem silently with another couple while a guide gave us a detailed lecture on each exhibit.¬† They did not allow us to shoot pictures inside. I have no idea why. It was overall a creepy experience. I was glad when the tour was done. The museum was not all tht great. They had a wax work of the famed jungle bandit, Veerappan and he looked quite real. They also had a shop at the back, where they sold candles.¬† The Arien was at his irritating best – “Who is that for? We don’t need candles. They also don’t need that. Why do you have to buy candles here? 40 bucks? For tht candle? ” Now, I am usually a sucker for such stuff and purchased 4 perfumed candles. The guy was awfully pleased. Most of the folks who walked in with us refused to buy any. The Arien decided tht it was a waste of time to say anything and walked out in a huff.

Our next stop was Coonoor. Someone informed us that on our way to Coonoor, we would pass a small village called Keti, whose only claim to fame was that Shah Rukh Khan shot the song “Chaiyyan Chaiyyan” atop the train that goes from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam. It was not as if – he was still there – but almost every1 would like you to believe so ūüôā